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Mexico won’t legalize digital currency payments, president says

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Mexico has no interest in making digital currencies legal tender, the country’s president has made clear. In a recent press conference, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador claimed that the country would retain its orthodox financial system and focus on streamlining different aspects of this system.

Ever since El Salvador legalized BTC payments, there has been speculation on which country would be next to make the move. Panama and Brazil have shown the most initiative, but no concrete move has been made yet. But as President Obrador made clear, it won’t be Mexico.

In a press conference, the Mexican president was asked if his government is considering allowing digital currency payments in the near future, to which he replied, “No. We are not going to change in this aspect. We see fit to maintain the orthodoxy in managing finances. We are not going to try to innovate a lot in the financial system.”

In Mexico, it’s estimated that 32% of the adult population is unbanked, or about 45 million, at par with the global average. President Obrador has launched a government push to include this chunk of the population in the financial system, through such initiatives as the CoDi digital payments system.

The president believes that these initiatives will be enough for the country and will not need to integrate digital currencies. In addition, the government will focus on streamlining other aspects of the financial system, such as by ensuring “that there is no tax evasion and privileges in tax payments. This is enough.”

While the president isn’t onboard with digital currency payments, Mexicans have continued to adopt them rapidly. According to reports, about 3.1 million Mexicans own digital currencies. In addition, 40% of Mexican companies intend on adopting digital currencies and blockchain in some form. The leading exchange in the Latin American country, Bitso, reported a 342% increase in user numbers.

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